1. #1

    Default MaxMini.eu's sketchbook - meddling with toy soldiers

    After some thinking I've thought about showing stuff we do here too - hopefully some of you will enjoy .
    We're running a workshop in Poland that makes toy soldiers used in tabletop games - so most of the models are around 30mm high. In the past we made all of those using traditional methods - clay , greenstuff, plasticard bits.
    But when 2-3 years ago I've started introducing using software for the task it has turned out so much fun that nowadays we do most of the stuff with it - it really changed the way we work. Zbrush has turned out indispensable asset for all the organic stuff and along some CAD software (Rhino for the most part) allowed us to do things we considered tricky before.
    The trickiest part was learning how to overdo the details - at first it was hard getting used to the fact that the model we see on the screen is many times bigger than the real model, thus something that looks good on screen may be too subtle on 30mm model. At the same time something that looks harsh on the computer may look awesome after 3d printing.
    Another initial issue was getting meshes that are good for 3d printing process - but dynamesh is our best friend is this matter .
    So far we haven't had to meddle with the rendering part as we're concerned about how the physical, real part looks - but I think we will have to sort out basic rendering in a rather near future.

    Initially most of the Zbrush sculpts were done by Pawel, while recently Konrad taken over.
    One of the sets that really showed us how far we can go with detailing was Pawel's Space Police heads set:



    Here's shot of other item that shows the scale we're dealing with too:

    The shields were close to the limit after which adding further textures and details make no sense:


    Well and certeinly painting for store photo was a tad painful, even with those crazy 000 brushes .

  2. #2

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    Necrhounds were cool as I think it was a first ZBrush model we later on reproduced in metal - before those we used resin almost exclusively.



    While most of the times we're making rather small items ocassionally there's a chance to work on soemthing slightly bigger. Recently we've been asked to make a trophy for a local miniature painting contest. The main challange was the limited budget. The only way to work with it was to lower 3d print resolution - still the model has tuned out rather nicely .


    The customer handled assmebling and painting those - as soon as I get some pics of the trophy I'll share .

    One of the most recent projects has been orc tech freaks heads - it combined assets made by both Pawel and Konrad:


  3. #3
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    Nice! The prints look good. Do you print with your own machine or send them off to a commercial printer? The resolution on the final object looks good

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    Awesome stuff!

    I am the owner of The Painted Dragon so know your stuff very well!

    Great that you are posting here, I look forward to more of your posts
    Eagle & Hammer - Artwork - Design - 3D
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    awesome work!
    This printer seems very powerfull too. Great amount of detail in such tiny pieces
    3D character artist / Digital Sculptor

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    Yeah, looks so cool I'm asking about printer too.
    My Sketchbook - please visit and leave me some C&C to help me immprove myself

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    Thumbs up

    Impressed. Like for darkness skulls!
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    Wow! that's some serious detail in such a small creation! I read you can get to 10um! I would love to know what printer you are using as well. My own personal passion is to get a business creating 1/8th collectible scultptures and the one printer I built and used just didn't provide enough detail (50um) I would love to hear your thoughts on your printing process!
    Ethan Brackin
    www.ethanbrackin.com

  9. #9

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    Thx . Sorry for the typos in the first post - hopefully I corrected most of them.

    @CoffeeDude, @nebular, @ethanb - we use our inhouse Solidscape T76+ printer. In the beggining we've been outsourcing the printing, but it was tricky to find a company that was able to print at quality we need. So we've ended with our own machine .
    It can be annoying as hell, rather slow, with brittle material that forces us to make resin copies for 3d printing customers (sending wax print would be risky), with crappy software that looks like something made in the early 90's but when it works it does magic ! Moreover it does not have support structures issue - supports are being printed in different material that gets completly dissolved in a special bath after printing.
    Most of the times we build models at 25um layer thickness - going lower makes sense only in rare cases.

    Let me know what you'd like to know guys and I'll try to help .

    @Mouthrax: great to see you here too . I remember visiting TPD often a few years back when I've been painting minis a lot.

    Group render of the Orc Tech Freaks:


    ... and a resin copy. All the details transferred nicely:

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    Thanks for the input. that is a beasty printer and quite the investment! Maybe one day I can afford to work with that kind of machine but until then I think if I can get my hands on a great dual extruder printer with the off chance of being able to tweak it down to 25um I'll be happy as a clam. I love the idea of printing supports in a soluble material so a dual extruder is a must.

    Does the t76 still have layers show up in the print itself? and if so do you use a system to quickly smooth the print or do you still have to go in by hand and clean it up?
    Ethan Brackin
    www.ethanbrackin.com

  11. #11

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    The models are ready to go straight after printing - the pics with "blue" pieces show models with no post work. So none or close to none post work is necessary.
    There are some cases when there are areas that show "stepping" but such cases are rare - it only apears when the given surface has a really small angle with the build plate (or when you are printing at low res setting). But a quick rub with cotton stick soaked with alcohol usually gets rid of those.
    One thingf most 3d printer manufacturers won't tell you is that not only layer thickness matters (z axis res). XY resolution also has tremendous impact on the quality. If I remember correctly our machine has 4000 or 5000dpi on xy.

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    Default Gr8

    Love the great work...!

    You don't do printing for others?

    What is the print area on this machine?

    Following your post with keen interest, as I have been struggling to get quality work for mold making and casting!

    Thanks for the input.

    Ziggy

  13. #13

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    @Sigmund: we do . Print area on our machine is 150x150x150mm . But seriously I would avoid printing stuff larger than 70mm - this machine excels at small organic stuff and jewelry (which we do from time to time too). Large items tend to turn out on an expensive side. Drop me a line what you'd like to get done - maybe I'll be able to help.

  14. #14

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    Here's how the trophy sculpt looked on the build plate, prior to dissolving supports:


    Here's how the printing looks during the whole process:


    The thing that's cool is that we can scale the models as we want - something that was near impossible with traditional sculpting. In the past when we messed the scale we've been pretty much f.....d up

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    Hi Przemas...

    I sent a request via your site with a STL file... hope to hear from you soon...

    Do you do wax and plastic on same printer? or is it only wax?

    These machine are very pricey, specially with our currency being so poor lately!

    Thanks... keep the images coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Przemas View Post
    @Sigmund: we do . Print area on our machine is 150x150x150mm . But seriously I would avoid printing stuff larger than 70mm - this machine excels at small organic stuff and jewelry (which we do from time to time too). Large items tend to turn out on an expensive side. Drop me a line what you'd like to get done - maybe I'll be able to help.

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